The August dust has settled, and the Spring season is officially in full swing. We will be spending more time outdoors, appreciating the sight of blooming trees, flowers and grasses, but what this means is that tiny grains of pollen will be released in the air – triggering allergies.
I sat down with the Founder of The Allergy Clinic, Dr. Marinda McDonald about things we need to be mindful of when it comes to allergies.
Five Tips For Managing Allergies This Spring
1. Find Out What Exactly You Are Allergic To
Symptoms such as itchy eyes, red and watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, puffy eyes, etc. can be an indication of allergies. Monitor when exactly your allergies flare up and reduce exposure to potential triggers. With seasonal allergies, symptoms will show up around the same time, each year. Seek medical attention if you struggle to identify the source of your allergies.
2. Manage The Flare-Ups
Once you’ve identified the source of your allergy triggers and are constantly exposed to them, make sure you consistently take your treatment. The consistency in treatment is far more important than using different types of medication. Make sure you self-evaluate as you go along and should the flare-ups show up stronger, moderately increase your medication to stay ahead of the curve.
3. Clean Your House – Regularly
Indoor allergens also form a huge part of allergy triggers. They are, however, year-round and can remain in your house for long periods.
Common house trigger allergies include:
– Mold – behind built-in cupboards, ceilings, the shower and other hidden places.
– Dust mites – these get trapped in carpets, pillows, bedding, curtains, etc.
– Pets – some people are allergic to cats or dogs.
– Cockroaches – these are problematic especially in the coastal areas.
These triggers can be managed by maintaining cleanliness in your home. Establish a cleaning routine. Move the furniture around to clear out that hidden dust and wash your children’s toys.
You can read more about dust management and how to declutter your home, here.
4. Prevent Allergies When Travelling
The change of environment can trigger allergies, for example, the change in weather when travelling across provinces. Include allergy medication in your travel plans. The environment you go to may trigger your allergies.
If you’re on vacation with children, be aware that they may easily get triggered as well, for example, the chlorine in swimming pools may cause allergies, as well as playing in the grass or being stung by a bee.
5. Monitor The Patterns
Consult with your doctor and take allergy tests. If you are unable to, a pollen monitor is a good source to refer to, you can visit www.pollencount.com
Dr. MacDonald advises parents to ensure they have allergy medication in their cupboards. The three types of medicine for children include:
– Saline Nose Spray
– Intranasal Corticosteroid
Remember that allergies can’t be cured, but if well managed, you can reduce the symptoms.
Happy Spring Day!